Team Preview: Green Booters find trust in each other in the fight for the UAAP crown

After concluding Season 85 with a bronze medal exit, the DLSU Green Booters aim to bring home the championship to Taft with a newly-formed team of veterans and rookies.

With a season of ups-and-downs that ultimately ended in a heart-wrenching semifinal exit, the DLSU Green Booters hope to build on their bronze finish and finally bring that elusive championship back to Taft with a mix of savvy veterans and hungry rookies.

Being a cohesive unit

After their third-place finish last UAAP Season 85, the Green Booters had a lot of room for improvement. Team Captain Mohammad Almohjili admits that in the past season, the squad did not get to build their team connection in order to be a strong contender for the championship title, saying, “La Salle has been known to be talented individually, but we always lack the chemistry. I believe it wasn’t met for the level that we should be a champion.” 

Senior Midfielder Christian Peñalosa echoes his teammate’s sentiments as he explains that “Mas malaki yung trust with each other now. Mataas yung layoff after nung pandemic, so naninibago pa, so tama na kulang yung trust.”

(I think we have a bigger trust with each other now. There was a big layoff after the pandemic, so we were really still adjusting, so we really lacked trust.)

The passionate DLSU Green Booters kick off their UAAP Season 86 redemption campaign as they aim to score a gold-medal finish.

However, it does seem that the tides are turning for the Green Booters as Almohjili notices the growing cohesion within the Green-and-White, “This year, I think the chemistry and the level of trust towards each other, the willingness to pass the ball, and to assist the goal, is mas mabigat sa amin.” Peñalosa thought the same “I think what differs from the past seasons, I can see the eagerness to get the championship, the trust from each other, I think last season kulang kami non.”

(I think what differs from the past seasons, I can see the eagerness to get the championship, the trust from each other, I think last season we really lacked that.)

A brand new version of the Green Booters will be shown on the field this season as the senior midfielders are optimistic about the team’s mutual trust in each other as they share the same goal of bringing the championship to Taft Ave.

Getting into the groove

Another annual event that once again helped the Green Booters build some much-needed rapport before the start of Season 86 was the Ang Liga Preseason Tournament held last year. However, they were unable to defend their title due to the lack of player availability that hindered their chances. Almohijli reveals, “For me, personally, I had other priorities in Copa duties, and the coaches allowed me to fulfill that, so the team was not complete and prepared enough, but that humbled us and made us realize that we need to put in the work.”

Frank Labayen and Adam Abela echoed their captain’s sentiments in learning from their mistakes while also seeing Ang Liga as a good opportunity to show their capabilities. Moreover, the rookie center backs added that the tournament was a great experience for the team to learn to play with each other and to personally gauge the level of the other UAAP schools that participated in the competition. 

Final adjustments

Improved team dynamics heading into UAAP Season 86 are critical to their ambitions of becoming more effective competitors and winning their games.

“In the past years, there was trust, but the thing we are mentioning now is different from the trust we talk in general in terms of chemistry kasi we understood what’s our weaknesses in our playing style,” as expressed by Team Captain Mo Almohjili. The senior winger exclaims rookies also look to find their place in the system. “They know their responsibility, they carry on bigger responsibilities as we carry the big responsibility. Hindi lang seniors ang magbubuhat this season, rookies din ang magbubuhat this season.”

(It won’t just be the seniors who will carry this season, rookies as well.)

Almohjili reveals, “The creativity, I think this team is one of the best in the flow of the game.” A team’s ability to work together and prove themselves for the upcoming campaign is an important trait, particularly in the competitive atmosphere of football. Labayen also mentioned, “In our team there [are] good programs in training, everything seems to be connected already.” The Green Booters are more than ready to showcase a newly built team bond and a plethora of skills and strategies are expected this Season 86.

Almohjili shared his hunger for winning the championship title, with the mindset that they and the Lasallian community deserve the victory. “I really hope we can bring back the championship.”
The Green Booters have ups and downs in their start to the season with 2-1-1 record, controlling their opening game against the UE Red Warriors and taking down the defending champions FEU Tamaraws, and suffering an early wake up call against the UP Fighting Maroons and drawing with the AdU
Soaring Falcons.

This article was published in The LaSallian‘s March 2024 issue. To read more, visit

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